Science Delivers More Pseudo-Science Fodder

There is a cadre of slightly well-read and utterly misguided half-thinkers conferencing together and discussing some new announcements in the scientific community, conflating those concepts into miraculous distortions of rose-colored fineries.  Let’s talk about a couple of excellent new announcements and see where our vivid imaginations take us.

First we have the interesting calculation of  Moore’s Law as applied to life on Earth.  You can read a nice article here.  Where they fall short is that there is no direct indication of how the researchers measured the most important aspect in Moore’s Law, namely how they defined complexity.  For an integrated circuit the answer is quite simple: “the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles approximately every two years”.  Complexity is the number of transistors.

So how does that translate to genetics?

Are genes like transistors?  Perhaps, sort of.  But there aren’t really a specific number of genes which translates well from organism to organism.  It doesn’t work like that.

What about the number of base pairs in chromosomes or the number of chromosomes themselves?  Well, this also provides some similitude but also falls apart as a de facto rule since not all creatures fall neatly into a hierarchy of complexity as measured by these numbers either.  (See this subsection for more information.)

So, they made something up.  That’s fine, and this work may well lead us to make new discoveries about life and its origins.  One of those discoveries could well be that life on Earth came from elsewhere, but at present that still stands as a lower likelihood than theories which seek to formulate terrestrial explanations.

Nonetheless, be prepared to encounter the obligatory pseudo-scientists claiming that this proves life on Earth was either created by a magic sky man (or, hey, maybe it was the aliens) or that it proves Darwin had it all wrong.  It does neither.  Darwin started a body of theory which stands as one of the two best-well-supported theories in the history of science.

The other of the two best-well-supported theories in the history of science is Quantum Mechanics, and that brings us to the newly proposed time crystals.

Presumably the TARDIS uses time crystals.

But what’s a time crystal?  So, crystals have their atoms aligned along a patterned lattice.  This is famous enough.  Now suppose that in addition to that pattern running along the three of our spatial axes it also runs along our time axis.  This would imply that the atoms would prefer to remain temporally aligned as well as spatially aligned and it would do this without expending energy.  Enter the perpetual motion machine, because time crystal sounds much better than spinning magnet.

Is it possible that we have opened the door to discovering (finally!) a source of perpetual motion (and thus unlimited free energy)?  Sure.  It only violates one of the most fundamental laws (laws not theories) of physics established with hundreds of years of observation and theory supporting it.  It’s not impossible but yes it’s pretty much impossible (read: so highly improbable as to be mostly outside of consideration).

While it is true that Einstein felt that Quantum Mechanics was incomplete (because it was a statistical outlay only and lacked a mechanism by which to explain the predicted events), Einstein didn’t doubt the veracity of QM or its results—he only complained the theory didn’t explain how this all worked.  Somewhat valid but mostly ignorable because its results do work.

You can read a bit about the time crystals here.  (I couldn’t find an article at but if I do later I’ll amend it here.)  It actually sounds pretty cool and I’m very interested in seeing where they are able to take this experimentally.

But again, be prepared to discover that your old pseudo-scientist friends and family will take this to prove Einstein was wrong, to prove the Copenhagen interpretation is bunk, and to prove that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is bust.

Don’t waste your time arguing with the pseudo-scientists of the world unless it is at a town hall meeting or a PTA event where the intellectual future of this country is actually, factually at stake.  It will only give you a headache and label you as part of the conspiracy.

Go get ’em.


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